Weekly Magazine

THIS WEEK

THE MONTEREY SYMPHONY begins music director Max Bragado-Darman’s final season. SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS launch 2019-20 season with “Blowing in the Wind.” “COLORS OF SPAIN” returns to Hidden Valley in Carmel Valley. ANNA DMYTRENKO performs for Aptos Keyboard Series. PABLO CRUISE at CSUMB’s World Theater. MOMIX (above) appears in Carmel. SANTA CATALINA SCHOOL opens Fiddler on the Roof. For links to these and dozens of other live performance events click on our CALENDAR 

MONTEREY SYMPHONY BEGINS 74TH SEASON

A BIG PARTY ON SATURDAY, 7pm, at Sunset Center, kicks off Max Bragado-Darman’s final season, “Ovation,” as music director. The concert follows at 8pm, with a repeat Sunday at 3pm. Concertmaster Christina Mok (pictured) plays Dvořák’s haunting Romance for violin and orchestra. On the podium, Max Bragado-Darman celebrates Hector Berlioz with the The Roman Carnival, a vivacious concert overture drawn from themes in his opera Benvenuto Cellini, and the opium-intoxicated, Symphonie fantastique, famous for its ghostly feminine ‘idée fixe’ obsession. 

COLORS OF SPAIN THIS THURSDAY

AN EVENING OF SPANISH CULTURE and art returns to Carmel Valley, with vocalist Carme Garí, cellist Gabriel Fiol, both from Mallorca, percussionist Ignacio Arimany from Madrid (pictured), art works by Michael Snodgrass and guest cellist Georgy Gusev from Russia. Colors of Spain is one of many cultural and artistic events produced by GOSH Projects International, a social purpose corporation whose mission includes developing a creative laboratory for artists, producing events, promoting cultural exchange, and furthering education. Their motto is “Pushing Artistic Boundaries.” The concert event at Hidden Valley will include a Q&A session with audience members.

THE HYPERTRAGIC NOTCH

FALLA’S MOST SPANISH MUSIC A CENTURY ON

1919 MARKED the year Spanish composer Manuel de Falla completed his pantomime for children, El sombrero de tres picos (The Three-Cornered Hat) and began his ballet El amor brujo (Love, the Wizard).  The first of these, based on an eponymous 1874 novel, began its musical life as El corregidor y la molinera (The Magistrate and the Miller’s Wife) set to a scenario by María Martínez Sierra. Falla reworked and enlarged that score into a ballet for Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, that also featured a curtain specially made for the occasion by Pablo Picasso. The work contains several musical jokes and a suite of such Spanish dances as fandango, seguidillas and farruca. Mezzo-soprano Carmen Romeu is featured. For the darkly menacing but thrilling score of El amor brujo Falla chose the coarse flamenco-style singing of a cantaora, here taken by Marina Heredia. Conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, a native of Granada, now enjoys a worldwide career. He was named Conductor of the Year 2014 by Musical America, and covers a wide range of styles from Baroque to the present. For this CD, Heras-Casado and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, a touring and recording orchestra with mostly younger players from 20 different countries, are fearless. They perform with fire, snap and crackle on this new Harmonia Mundi release.

ANNE-MARIE McDERMOTT TACKLES MOZART

VOLUME 1 of the complete Mozart piano concertos, containing two early but prescient concertos, signals the start of years-long project by Bridge label with the Odense Symfoniorkester. It’s hard to imagine a better choice soloist, a refined yet bold artist who has made many appearances in Carmel with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg. Scott Yoo is conductor here, one of many podium specialists lined up. Yoo, who is music director the Festival Mozaic in San Luis Obispo, also leads the new PBS “Now Hear This” series of Great Performances, currently investigating Baroque composers, on Friday nights. (The third in the series, on Domenico Scarlatti, is especially fine.) McDermott has already recorded some of the Mozart concertos with the Calder string quartet on Bridge in Mozart’s own reduced versions.

THE RESURGENCE OF VINYL

ABOUT to outsell CDs! Click HERE 

WHO MAKES THE BEST PIANOS?

STEINWAY, FAZIOLI OR BŐSENDORFER? Sorry Yamaha and Kawai.

 

THE SHORT, BRILLIANT LIFE OF GEORGE GERSHWIN

A NEW BIOGRAPHY by Richard Crawford, reviewed in The Economist. Click HERE 

MOCKING THE YOUNG LEONARDO

AT LEAST HE GOT NOTICED. Leonardo da Vinci. Click HERE  

SHINE ON HARVEST MOON

LEON REDBONE tells it straight.

 

FRESH REVIEWS

FRANKENSTEIN at Monterey Peninsula College hits and misses. Click HERE

SANTA CRUZ SYMPHONY in Watsonville and PIANIST OLGA KERN in Carmel reset their high standards. Click HERE

NEXT WEEK

NEW JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET plays Sunset Center. COMEDIAN LEWIS BLACK snarks in Monterey yet again. CARRIE, THE MUSICAL opens at Cabrillo College.

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Scott MacClelland, editor; Rebecca CR Brooks, associate editor